MINDFUL OF the UDPFI guidelines, violation of which led to the scrapping of the 2011 master plan, the 2021 City Development Plan has allocated a hectare of land for every 100 persons.
The master plan with a design population of 37 lakh boasts a planning area spread over 50,000 hectares, an increase of 11,704 hectares over the scrapped 2011 draft. The required land has been obtained by proposing the inclusion of 90-odd villages adjoining the City into the planning area.
The proposed incorporation of the villages has, however, raised a few key questions. Chief among these are, why, when it decided to bring them within the planning area ambit has the Town and Country Planning Department neither made any provisions nor made any allocations in these areas?
After the master plan is adopted will the village inhabitants be treated as urban or rural citizens? Or will they inhabit a no man’s land between the village and city milieus?
Will the village inhabitants continue to be under the umbrella of rural institutions like the Panchayat or be governed by urban management agencies or, will, once formally declared a part of Indore’s planning area, the villages and their inhabitants still be entitled to Employment Guarantee, Nal Jal, watershed mission and other governmental schemes aimed at rural development?
“Unless these issues are made clear there is no point in including the villages in the planning area, unless the sole aim is to increase the size on paper,” says a member of Centre for Environment Protection Research and Development (CERPD), the agency whose petition led to the quashing of the 2011 master plan.
The environmentalist also laments town planners’ failure to set up a buffer zone within a radius of five kilometres from the planning area. “Certain restrictions need to be placed on areas immediately contiguous to the planning area boundary so that the land is not used in a manner contradictory to the master plan’s provisions,” he pointed out.
Joint Director, Town and Country Planning, V P Kulshreshta, however, pleads helplessness when confronted about the ambiguity regarding the villages’ status. “Our brief is to prepare the master plan. The exact status of the villages, and whether or not they will continue to receive rural area benefits, has to be decided by the government,” he declared.
Points to ponder
*Will residents of the 90-odd villages included in the planning area be treated as urban or rural citizens?
*Would they still be entitled to benefits under the Employment Guarantee, watershed mission and other schemes aimed at rural development?
*Will civic amenities, water supply for instance, to the villages fall to the IMC or would it continue to be governed by Nal Jal and similar schemes?
*Why, when it has proposed their inclusion, has the Town and Country Planning Department made no provisions or allocations in the villages?
T&CP to file caveat in HC
THE TOWN and Country Planning directorate will file a caveat in the High Court to ensure that the 2021 master plan does not meet the fate of its predecessor, which was quashed for alleged violations of UDPFI guidelines.